A Blogazine, based out of Park Slope, Brooklyn, that features fun and interesting articles. Topics include: parenting, society, real estate, career, style, spirituality and more. Written contributions are always welcome!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pursuing Motherhood: A Single Woman's Perspective

I am a single, professional woman who is still actively searching for a loving relationship with a man who is right for me. At age 37, I am becoming less and less able to imagine that happening within the timeframe that works for me (and my biological clock). Even if I were to meet the man of my dreams tomorrow, it would be months, even years, before we were able to commit and start a family.

If I want to have a child, with or without a man, I need to start that journey now.

The desire to have a biological child of my own runs deep. Natural birth means going through artificial insemination and using a sperm donor, with all of the medical procedures that entails. None of those procedures are covered by insurance, nor are they a guarantee of success. An alternative to anonymous sperm donation is asking a close male friend for donor sperm. My inclination is to avoid potential complications that may arise with a known donor, but I can’t help but want to know the father of my child.

But I need to be practical, too. International adoption is expensive (around $25,000), but less invasive and more certain in its outcome. It’s also something that doesn’t have to happen today. So I am torn between these two options, and trying to find out as much about both of them as I can.

I have only just begun to talk with friends and family about my decision. Single girlfriends, married friends, family: all have had the same general reaction, that I will be a wonderful parent. My mother wants me to have a child so badly, that she practically suggested the idea to me! The special bond that I have with my mother is something that both of us would like to perpetuate with a child/grandchild.

Some friends, of course, worry that I will have trouble navigating the difficulties of single parenting. I see their point, but if I let these hesitations overpower me, I may never be a parent. We all rise to our particular life situation. One of my own defining characteristics has been courage, and adaptability. I think those qualities will come in handy.

One of my single girlfriends recently told me that she was also considering becoming a Single Mother by Choice (SMBC). Since starting my blog, I’ve discovered that there are many of us out there. We could analyze why so many professional women find themselves in this position, but really, everyone’s story is different. Perhaps more to the point is that now, we can do something about it, if we so choose. Yesterday’s spinster is today’s SMBC. That’s not to say that having a child will alter my desire to fall in love again. Luckily, finding partnership with a man doesn’t come with a biological terminus.

Having a child is one, important step toward fulfillment on my unconventional journey. It’s time to take that step.

Jo is a 37 year old PhD who loves her job at a nonprofit art institution. Originally hailing from the Midwest, she spent formative years in California, with stints in Antwerp, Belgium, and Park Slope, Brooklyn, before moving to a small city in the Northeast. You can read her blog at All That She Wants